Saturday, 1 September 2007

Hoist by his own petard

Idaho senator resigns over sex scandal


It is not often that you can see the workings of karma, but there is a nice sense of fitness when you do.

I have never heard of Larry Craig. But he is a right wing Republican and "a vocal opponent of gay rights in the U.S.".

He also says "I am not gay, I never have been gay. I did nothing wrong at the Minneapolis airport"

But he pleaded guilty to "a reduced charge of disorderly conduct" because he was afraid of the publicity - which got him anyway. In fact he blames his fall on the Idaho Statesman. That is not a paper I have ever heard of before either, so I cannot comment on that.

But without Senators and other law makers like Larry Craig there would not be laws against what consenting adults do, though there does need to be some sanction when they do it in public places. As Lady Ottoline Morel remarked "I don't care what people do in private, but don't do it in public and frighten the horses." Although inside a washroom cubicle you might argue about how public that is.

But what on earth do we say of a society that thinks using police personnel for "sex sting at a men's washroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport" is a useful use of resources? If the policeman had not been there, there would have been no crime. I am not gay either, and I am absolutely immune from taking any offence if the man in the next stall taps his foot. I would not have recognized that as a gay come on until the media told me about it. A hand under the partition is usually accompanied by a request for toilet paper. An event of no concern except for complaint to the airport that they need to check their washroom supplies more often.

Mr Craig you richly deserve your fate. Your refusal to recognize that 5% of the population who do not share your sexual orientation are entitled to the same treatment as everyone else (which is what the phrase "gay rights" means)has dealt you the blow that lead to your fall. Learn from that lesson. Stop blaming the media, and don't think that it is your political opponents who have brought you down. You are the architect of your own fate.

I suggest you read the biography of John Profumo. Perhaps you too can become a useful member of society for a change.

And to the Idaho law enforcement agencies I would suggest that there are far more serious offenses that need something done about them. Offenses that cost people their lives, or their property, or their rights. That is where your attention should be. There are a lot of laws you do not police diligently. This must be one of them. Divert the sex sting team to look for road rage.

POSTSCRIPT

for some illuminating analysis of this case go to The Observer

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